http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/31/dining/31tomato.html . The article talks about a greenhouse operation in Maine that doesn't grow their tomatoes in dirt. The tomatoes look great but I can't help but wonder if they might be missing out. Can they possibly be getting all of the nutrients from the water that is piped into them that their roots would have searched out underground? I'm sure there are scientists there who have carefully calibrated the concentrations of identified nutrients and administer them according to computer readouts but that doesn't comfort me.
I want my vegetables natural. I want them dirty. I want them to still be dusty from the soil they grew up when they get to my kitchen, to bring a piece of their terroir with them. Yes, I know it means more cleaning. Yes, it adds to their weight so yes, they cost more but dirt helps to preserve them and more importantly, connects me with their past.